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Daily Fix Poll: Should national parties get involved in primaries?

By Aaron Blake

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is apparently neutral in the ongoing ballot-counting process in the Alaska primary race between Sen. Lisa Murkowski and attorney Joe Miller.

The decision comes as Murkowski faces an uphill battle, in which she would have to win convincingly in the approximately 20,000 ballots left to be counted to overcome the 1,600 vote (or so) lead Miller maintains. It also comes after the committee briefly irritated Miller and his Tea Party activist base by sending a lawyer to help Murkowski.

It's all just the latest example of a primary becoming a headache for the national GOP.

So far this primary season, establishment Republicans have lost at least one senator (Utah's Robert Bennett), as well as their favored candidates in Colorado, Florida, Kentucky and Nevada.

In all five cases -- and in Alaska as well -- the Tea Party is the culprit, overcoming the party establishment despite running lesser known and lesser financed candidates. Activists including's Erick Erickson have led the charge against the party establishment in many of the states.

Of course, Democrats have also taken their lumps, losing Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) as well as their preferred candidate to face Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.).

It all begs the question: is it worth it? Republican Governors Association Chairman Haley Barbour doesn't think so; he said on CBS's Face the Nation this weekend that parties should have a policy of just staying out of contested primaries.

Now that we know what Barbour thinks, we'd like to know what you think.

By Aaron Blake  | August 30, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  Daily Fix Poll  
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Next: Afternoon Fix: No Libertarian bid for Murkowski; Tea Party Express to go up against Mike Castle in Delaware

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